Adelaide United has defeated Brisbane Roar 2-1 in the first elimination final of the 2014/15 Hyundai A-League season with goals from Craig Goodwin and Awer Mabil keeping the Reds championship hopes alive.
The match started at an absolutely blistering pace with the Reds taking a very early lead through a Craig Goodwin free kick in the seventh minute. After Jimmy Jeggo drew the initial foul from James Donachie, Goodwin stepped up and dispatched a truly stunning free kick effort that, once hit, was never going to be saved.
Goodwin could have had a second just seven minutes later when Sergio Cirio teased a wonderful ball across the face of the goal, but the Reds’ no. 16 sprayed his effort over the bar from close range.
From here both sides exchanged chances, but Brisbane weren’t to be outdone and equalised in the 28th minute when Thomas Broich latched onto a loose ball and beat Eugene Galekovic at his far post.
With the score now back on level terms, both side was eager to hit the front and, for United, the inclusions of Isaias, Jeggo, and Marcelo Carrusca were certainly paying off in an attacking sense. Their link up play with the front three of Goodwin, Pablo Sanchez, and Cirio was proving too much for the Roar to handle on many occasions. Yet the Reds were unable to beat Jamie Young for a second time in the opening 45.
The second half started in a similar way to the first with both sides eager to gain the advantage and pressing high on their opposition.
With the ball stuck in the middle of the park for the majority of the second period, it wasn’t really until the last 15 minutes when the game truly started to open up –either side desperately trying to get the winner.
And United looked destined to convert their second on two occasions, but Roar’s Young made two outstanding saves to deny their advantage.
However, the Reds weren’t to be undone in their extensive efforts and sheer desire to get the winner, eventually coming through substitute Awer Mabil. A quick break on the right flank through Miguel Palanca saw the Spaniard cut the ball back for Mabil who was able to bundle the ball past Young.
Following the match, Josep Gombau praised his side’s performance and their willingness to put it all on the line to advance to the next round of this year’s finals series.
“We’re very happy,” Gombau said. “I think we played a good game and I am satisfied with the way that the players played.
“In the first half I think that we had chances to increase (our lead). We made a mistake and they took (advantage). But in the second half it was very equal and very open and in the end we scored.
“We want to enjoy this night with the players and tomorrow we start again to prepare for the next game in Sydney.
“We played and did well and in the end it was also a good experience for the people who came to watch the game.”
Friday, 1 May 2015
Hyundai A-League Elimination Final 1
Adelaide United 2 (Goodwin 7’, Mabil 87’)
Brisbane Roar 1 (Broich 28’)